Scanlations finally coming to an end?

Since the cease and desist orders being sent out after publishers have decided to do something about scanlations, scanlation groups have been removing some of their affected scans, and being more careful about their presence online. There have been a number of “angry” fans regarding the issue though. The funny thing about these “angry” fans are that they think that without scanlations, the Japanese mangaka and publishers would never be able to reach the large yaoi fanbase that’s out there. Are they right? Not really.

I recall all those years ago, before we were able to transmit so much data so quickly over the internet, when the scanlation scene (especially in the yaoi community) was still operating on a small scale basis, all that yaoi fans had to go on with were yaoi review sites. Aestheticism.net had been one of the frontiers of yaoi. And with yaoi reviews, we had text translations which I basically gobbled up because I actually bought all the manga that I wanted to look at. From reviews that had little to no info, I bought manga by the dozens, ending up with more than 60% of manga that weren’t really worth the expense. Did I complain? No.

I stopped buying manga for a few years, came back to look for reviews and it seems the whole yaoi community had exploded. There were scanlations groups everywhere, and all manner of manga were scanlated. American publishers were licensing yaoi manga, and even in the world of novels, Harlequin/Mills&Boon-like gay romance novels were being published. *_* It was like, whoa, what did I miss in only a few years?! It was a revolution, really. And at some point, I had wondered, how far these people (scanlation groups) were going to go. Back in its day, people who scanlated manga were a bit careful about disclaimers. Quite a number of them mention that their scanlations were for “educational” purposes. These days, no one even tries to use that pretense anymore.

Personally, I wish we could go back to text translations. I love the feel of the manga in my hands, and a lot of the projects picked up by the scanlation groups are _awesome_. I’ve come to add more than a dozen mangaka to my favourite must-buy-every-manga list. Text translations would be more than welcome and would encourage people to actually buy the manga. I know that I will be buying manga again, once I have a decent job and the cash to buy with, and can find a way to import them (yaoi = no no in customs). Owning yaoi (some of the more risque ones) itself is probably illegal in my country, and in truth, I want to live in Japan because I’d never be prosecuted based on the manga I own. All other countries, especially North America, Europe and Australia are risky, not to mention all the other Asian countries. -_- Am I serious? Yes. *grin*

So anyways, it’s finally time for scanlations (yaoi ones, anyway) to slow down. We have to be truthful: we’ve promoted a lot of manga through scanlations, but we’ve also eliminated the need for fans to actually buy the physical books. I know that I’ve been grateful that I don’t have to buy anything for now since I’m so broke. ^_^; But yeah, it’s been a great time to be a yaoi fan, and now, I would really love to see yaoi review sites based on the Japanese manga up again.

For all those who’d joined the yaoi community during scanlations’ heyday, don’t despair. There have always been ways for a fan to get to know more about what’s up and what’s new in Japan legally. Just cross your fingers and hope people start sharing text translations. ^_~ And anyways, not all publishers are in the group which is trying to stop their works from being exploited (though I’m sure a lot more will join in) so you’ll still get your fix. ^_~

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Oh, for those interested (though I’m sure you know already), Nitta Yuuka (and other mangaka will probably follow) has put up her oneshot up for sale on Amazon (it’s for Kindle, and in English). ^_^ I do want to buy it, but argh. I just want the text translations cos I’m sure the oneshot will be published in a tankoubon which I’ll own eventually. *falls over*

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And for those interested, here’s a site about the history of scanlation. Kudos to those who’d created it. It was kinda nostalgic, as I had actually “lived” through the stages. *grin*

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